“Minimise complexity. The simpler the product, the more likely you are to actually ship it, and the more like you to fix problems.” - Slava Akhmechet
When Clara faints I catch her before she hits the ground and yell at Nick. He spins in my direction and pales when he sees Clara in my arms. He hangs up on a frantic Harriet and we run to his car. He drives us to the hospital and we run in, Clara still unconscious in my arms.
The nurses run over to us and call out some emergency thing. They rush Clara to the examination room and tell us to wait in the hall until we can see her. To make matters worse, Nick faints, and Harriet appears with Zeke and Lucy.
“Layne!” Harriet calls.
I look up. “Hey, Harriet.”
“Where’s Clara and Nick?”
“They’re both in examination.”
“Why aren’t you? Nick said you got knocked out.”
“I refuse to go in until Nick and Clara are done.”
“Nick also said that someone else got knocked out.”
I smile. “Clara knocked out Jeremy Scott.”
Harriet looks shocked. ”Clara did that? Our Clara?”
“He started it though.”
“Three years ago.”
“After the incident?”
“Shit. That would have been hard.”
“Not just on Clara. It was hard on me too.”
“Layne Thompson?” a nurse asks.
“Yes?” I ask, standing up.
“Miss Rhode wants to see you.”
I nod and follow the nurse. She leads me into the exam room and I pale at the sight in front of me. Clara is laying on a hospital bed with plaster and bandages covering her. Her right leg is in a cast, half her face is red and purple and her right hand is in a bandage. She spots me and smiles. I sit next to the bed and sigh.
“You’re a mess, Layne,” Clara laughs.
“And you’re in a hospital bed,” I reply.
“Wanna know a secret?”
“After the incident, they told me I could never feel physical pain again.”
“I’m numb. Pinch me and I won’t feel pain. Burn me, and it won’t hurt. It just feels weird.”
“That’s...handy. I guess.”
“I guess,” Clara looks around.
“In the bed next to you,” a familiar Irish voice replies.
“Bloody hell, Nick!” I snap.
“That’s quite and interesting story, Clara.”
Clara frowns. “Thanks, I guess.”
“Does Harriet know?”
“Yep,” Harriet says, walking in. “I knew when she put her hand on the hot element, on the stove top.”
“I scared him shitless,” Clara laughs.
She sits on the other chair. “That you did.”
“I wish I had seen your face, Harriet,” I say.
“Layne, can you get me my phone?” Clara asks.
I hand Clara her phone and she unlocks it. She opens a few things and eventually hands me her phone. I laugh at the photo of fourteen year-old, dumbstruck Harriet. I hand the phone to Nick and and he bursts out laughing.
Harriet blushes. “Clara.”
“I’m still showing Zeke and Luce,” Clara laughs.
“After you get out of here,” Nick tells her.
“And after you tell them,” I add.
“Right,” Clara sighs. “They don’t know.”